Lead Generation for B2C: The Complete Guide
June 23, 2023
Lead generation is an incredibly important process for B2C companies. It’s where you identify and connect with new potential customers — the first irreplaceable step in the process of bringing a new customer on board.
And in 2023 — with cookies dying and new privacy regulations rapidly changing how businesses connect with new customers — a robust and forward-thinking B2C lead gen strategy is more important than ever.
B2C lead generation isn’t simple or easy. It’s also a bit misleading to think of it as a single activity. Instead, B2C lead generation is really a series of different processes, all of which come together to drive the main goal: more new customers.
So, there’s a lot to unpack here. But worry not, we’ve got your back! In this article, we’re diving into how B2C lead generation works, what sets it apart from B2B lead generation, the top b2c lead generation strategies that brands are using in 2023, and how to get started with your own plan.
B2B vs B2C lead generation — what’s the difference?
Firstly, it’s important to quickly break down the difference between lead generation for B2B and B2C companies.
B2B companies target other businesses, for example, products like corporate software and industrial equipment. B2C companies target individual consumers, selling the kind of products you’d expect to find in your local supermarket or on Amazon.
So how does this impact lead generation? Let’s break it down:
B2B lead generation…
- Tends to last longer, since decisions are usually shared by multiple people and can take a while to conclude
- Usually focuses on more professional channels like LinkedIn, email, SEO and industry events
- Uses content that’s more targeted to business decision-makers and is often more technical and complex in tone and subject matter
- Is generally more focused on building long-term relationships with leads as opposed to one-off purchases
B2C lead generation…
- Tends to have a greater focus on quicker buying journeys and even impulse purchases. The lead conversion process for a B2C customer can be extremely fast.
- Uses a variety of channels, including social media, influencer marketing, and SEO
- Uses multiple different types of content, which often (but not always) is more light-hearted and entertaining in tone than its B2B counterpart
- Often focuses more on immediate conversions and maximizing transactions, although relationship-building is still important for B2C brands
Unpacking the lead generation process
The lead generation process involves a number of different steps, which roughly take place in order:
- Identifying the target audience
Who are your leads? Where do they spend time? What demographics do they fall into? This stage involves a ton of research, including methods like social listening, surveys and questionnaires, and conversations with your sales team. Gather as much data as possible about the people you want to connect with.
- Building compelling offers
How will you get your leads’ attention? If you’ve done the research phase right, you’ll have a good idea of what your leads are interested in and the kind of offers you can share with them to open a conversation.
- Generate traffic
Use things like search-engine-optimized content, videos, and social media ads to generate traffic to your brand. This is where you show up on your leads’ radars and begin the interaction with them.
- Start capturing leads
Once you have a steady flow of traffic, it’s time to start actively connecting with your leads. Use landing pages, forms, native lead generation features on popular social media platforms and lead magnet content to get their contact details and open up a conversation.
- Nurture your leads
Use email campaigns, social media posts, regular content, and more to start building a relationship with your leads. You should show up regularly and start building an impression — so that when they’re ready to make a purchase, you’ll be top of mind.
- Convert them into customers
Keep connecting with your leads and showing them offers. Make it easy for them to make a buying action, and remove as much friction as possible from the process. When your leads are ready to convert, it should be extremely easy for them to do so.
- Stay in touch
Don’t just forget about your leads the second they become customers. Keep targeting them with content and communications, and work to maintain an ongoing relationship with them for when they’re ready to buy again.
Top B2C lead generation ideas
Here it is — the moment you’ve been waiting for. What are the main strategies B2C brands can use to generate leads?
The good news here is that brands today are deluged with options for connecting with leads and building those early relationships. Let’s take a look at some of the most valuable strategies you can employ here.
Content is essential if you want to connect with leads online. It’s a big umbrella — encompassing things like blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, and much more valuable content.
The goal with content is to attract the right people to your brand. Relevant, informative, and entertaining content on topics that your ideal customers care about will do this, and it’ll also keep them coming back for more so you can begin to build authority and occupy a space in their brains.
Content works best when it's optimized for search engines (SEO). This process involves building your content in a way that will rank highly in search engine results, getting more traffic to your pages and boosting your chances of connecting with high-quality leads.
For B2C brands, social media is an incredibly powerful tool. If you can build a presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it’ll be much easier to connect with your target customers and start capturing more leads.
Social media ad campaigns are another valuable weapon in your arsenal here. Running targeted ads allows you to specifically show up on the radar of your ideal customers, beginning the lead generation process. You can also think about partnering with influencers to promote your products and brand in a more authentic and personal way.
Most of the popular social media platforms today have native lead generation features. These native lead generation forms pop up within the platform and have pre-filled information to decrease friction and increase lead conversion rates.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that email is dead, or an outdated channel for connecting with leads.
Email is just as relevant as ever, and tends to yield an extremely high return on investment. When it comes to lead generation, you can build a list of email subscribers and send personalized and targeted emails to them — nurturing your leads, building a relationship, and sharing offers. Over time, done right, this can become a rich source of conversions.
Using a tool like Driftrock, you can sync your leads to any email marketing tool or CRM in real time to increase conversion rates.
Your existing customers are a very powerful (and often overlooked) resource when it comes to connecting with new leads. For example, consider asking existing customers to refer friends and family to your brand in return for incentives like discounts and rewards.
One of the biggest challenges for brands in today’s world — particularly online — is building trust. Many potential customers have become jaded with marketing and want to see more authentic product recommendations.
User-generated content — when your existing customers create and share content that promotes your products — is an excellent way to connect with new leads in a way that feels much more trustworthy.
Personalization may be a buzzword, but it’s a buzzword for a reason. If you can personalize your lead generation efforts — targeting leads with messaging and offers that are more relevant to them based on the data you’ve collected — you stand a higher chance of engaging successfully and ultimately converting them into customers.
In 2022, almost 30% of people worldwide used their phones to buy something online every single week.
It’s essential that B2C brands optimize their content and pages for mobile use. Make sure your website, blog, landing pages, ads, and all marketing materials are easy to access, view, and navigate on a mobile device.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
AR and VR have quickly grown from sci-fi fads to legitimate technologies that B2C brands are employing more and more to engage with their customers and leads.
These immersive technologies allow you to add extra dimensions to the shopping process, allowing your potential customers to virtually interact with your products and visualize how they will look in their environment without ever leaving home.
B2C brands are increasingly allowing customers to make purchases directly within social media platforms — taking friction out of the buying process and making it easier than ever for leads to convert.
For example, you can now create your own storefront for an e-commerce store on Facebook, allowing customers to discover your brand within the app and make a purchase directly through the platform.
Customer reviews and ratings
Customers, generally speaking, trust other customers. That means it’s important to encourage your existing customers to leave positive reviews and ratings about your brand and products, boosting trust among potential leads and influencing purchase decisions.
What makes a successful B2C lead generation campaign — key elements
Now it’s time to dissect the anatomy of a successful B2C lead generation campaign, delicately teasing out all the juicy factors that lead to victory. Here’s what the best B2C lead generation campaigns tend to have in common:
- Clear goals and objectives
It’s OK for your lead generation campaign to have a number of goals, but make sure they are clearly defined from the beginning. Try to keep your goals relevant and specific — for example it could be to increase sales by 10%.
- Understand your target audience
Generally, the most successful lead generation campaigns are those that intimately understand who they are targeting — their preferences, behavioural trends, demographics, and history.
- Strong offers
It doesn’t matter how good your lead generation tactics are if you don’t employ compelling offers. Your offers need to connect and resonate with your leads and entice them to take action. Some examples are free trials, discounts, and exclusive content.
- Multiple channels
Strong lead generation campaigns tend to use a variety of different channels like social media, search engines, email marketing, and content.
- It’s easy for the user
The best lead-generation processes are smooth and frictionless for your leads, allowing them to provide information and engage with your brand in the easiest way possible.
- It’s easy to take action
Use strong, clear calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout the lead generation process. At any given point, it should be extremely easy for your lead to take the action you want from them, whether that’s signing up, providing their email address, or making a purchase.
- Use the right lead-capture techniques
Lead capture forms, landing pages, and pop-ups should do their job effectively — capture relevant information from your leads without being annoying or disruptive.
- Nurture your leads
You should have a reliable, systematic approach to nurturing your leads. Keep them engaged with targeted, personalized content like email campaigns and retargeting ads.
- Use analytics effectively
Measure and track the progress of the different elements of your lead generation campaign, focusing on metrics like cost-per-lead, conversion rates, and return on investment. This allows you to make effective changes and optimize your campaign.
Driftrock's lead generation dashboard and tracking & reporting tools enable you to track leads from Source > Medium > Campaign > Ad set > Campaign or Creative to Lead > Qualification > Sales or Offline conversion
- Stay consistent
Your branding and messaging should stay consistent throughout your lead generation campaign, establishing a strong presence and gradually building a relationship with your leads.
Creating a lead generation plan
How do you put what you’ve learned into practice and start actually building your lead generation campaign? A good way to start is by drafting a plan. This gives structure and clarity to your campaign from the very beginning, providing a solid roadmap to follow all the way to your goals.
Let’s take a look at a potential template outline for a lead generation plan.
This is a concise, clear summary of your lead generation goals. You’ll outline your key goals and the main strategies you’ll take to get there. This is your opportunity to clearly state what you plan to achieve — whether that’s increasing sales, acquiring new customers, expanding your market share, or some combination of multiple goals. Remember to be as specific as possible.
Target audience analysis
Now it’s time to develop a clear understanding of your audience. This stage is crucial — after all, lead generation is ultimately all about identifying and connecting with the people who will eventually become your customers. It’s essential to know who those people are.
This is the stage where you’ll define the demographics, characteristics, behaviours, preferences, and other key features of the people you want to target with your lead generation efforts. This will inform the strategies you use to connect with them, the channels you focus on, your messaging, the offers you create, and much more.
Marketing channels and tactics
Now it’s time to decide on which marketing channels and tactics you’ll use. There’s a wide array of options here — social media marketing, content marketing, influencer partnerships, email campaigns, ads, and much more. You might focus on just one or two, or use a combination of several.
This is the stage where you’ll allocate a specific budget to each of the activities in your campaign. Each channel and tactic should have its own budget — based on things like advertising costs, fees for technology tools, and more.
Create a timeline and define some key milestones
This is where you’ll lay out a timeline for your campaign — identifying specific milestones with deadlines. This helps create a clear roadmap to follow and ensures your campaign stays on track and focused. Key phases here can include planning, implementation, tracking, and evaluation.
Decide on the strategies you’ll use for lead capture and conversion
Outline the strategies you’ll use to capture your leads — like lead magnet content, landing pages, forms, and emails. You should also start thinking about how you’ll follow up with leads to maximize the chances of them converting into customers.
Measurement and tracking
Get clear on the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to assess the success of your campaign. Common examples are conversion rates, cost-per-lead, and cost-per-acquisition. The KPIs you choose should tie into your goals and be easy to track and measure.
📝 Related Article: KPIs for Lead Generation: The Ultimate Metrics for Growth
Nurture your leads over time
Lead generation is an ongoing process. You’ll need to identify the strategies you’ll use to nurture your leads and follow up with them over time, like email campaigns, personalized communications, and retargeting ads. Your goal with the nurturing process will be to keep your leads engaged and eventually convert them into customers.
Optimization and evaluation
How will you analyze the performance of your campaign over time? This step is important, as it allows you to quickly identify any areas that are underperforming and make changes to optimize your process. You should decide on the methods you’ll use to analyze performance and test continuously to make data-based decisions.
Data privacy and compliance
Data privacy is a huge concern today, and it’s only growing in importance. Companies now need to be very careful to ensure they comply with regulations like GDPR and CCPA when working with customer data. Work with a legal expert to ensure your strategies are safe and legal, and make sure you’re doing everything needed to obtain the right consent and protect customer data.
How to collect data and use the insights
Data is an unbelievably powerful tool when it comes to effective lead generation strategies. It allows you to make clear, objective decisions based on reality, and build a campaign that’s not just based on speculation and guesswork.
There’s more data available than ever before. So how can you make sure you use this data wisely to build and run ever more effective lead generation and marketing campaigns? Here are a few tips.
- Decide what to track. Identify the most important and relevant data points to focus on, like customer demographics, purchase history, and engagement metrics.
- Set up effective tracking mechanisms like analytics tools and CRM systems to collect as much of this data as possible
- Use customer surveys and questionnaires to learn as much about your customers as possible. Ask them about their needs, preferences, pain points, worries, and more. It often helps to incentivize your customers for doing this, for example with a discount or offer.
- Look at website analytics — what pages are your customers visiting? How long are they staying there? Look at conversion rates, bounce rates, traffic, and more. Websites can be extremely valuable sources of information about your leads.
- Track relevant email marketing metrics like open rates, click-through rates, conversions, and more
- Look at relevant social media metrics like comments, shares, and likes. This will help you gain a better understanding of your customers and their preferences and behaviours.
- Constantly test, compare, and iterate — use different strategies and approaches and then make changes based on the feedback you get to optimize your campaigns and get better results over time.
Be where your customers want you to be
Lead generation, when it comes down to it, is all about being where your customers want you to be, at the right time, with the right offers.
Remember that your leads want your products — that’s why they’re your leads. Your job is to be in the right place at the right time to connect with those leads, present them with offers that will resonate with them, and open the conversation.
Do this right, over enough time, and you’ll end up with a steady stream of high-quality leads just waiting to become loyal customers.
At Driftrock, it’s our job to help you do this. We can help you connect 20+ lead generation sources and website forms in just minutes — allowing you to ramp up your lead generation efforts across platforms like Meta (Facebook and Instagram), LinkedIn, and Google.
Additionally, we can help you increase ROI from your Lead Generation Campaigns through effective lead management tools.